In 1901, Gustavus Ohlinger, a student in the Law Department of the University of Michigan, approached the Dean with a proposal for a law journal. The faculty accepted the proposal, and the Michigan Law Review began publication in 1902, making it the sixth oldest legal journal in the country. The Law Review originally was intended as a forum in which the faculty of the Law Department could publish its legal scholarship. The faculty resolution creating the Law Review required every faculty member to submit two articles per year to the new journal.

From its inception until 1940, the Law Review‘s student members worked under the direction of faculty members who served as Editor-in-Chief—the first was Floyd Mechem, the last Paul Kauper. In 1940, the first student Editor-in-Chief was selected. During the years that followed, student editors were given increasing responsibility and autonomy.

Today, the Law Review is run with no faculty supervision. Seven of each volume’s eight issues ordinarily are composed of two major parts: Articles written by legal scholars and practitioners and Notes written by law students. One issue in each volume is devoted to book reviews.